Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Opus 2019-256: Baby Talk: Deja Vu

Grandchildren are a mixed bag of joy and fear.

The joys are a mixture of memory and anticipation.  So much of what I see reminds me of when my children were small.  I remember chasing my children and now get to chase my granddaughter.  Her screams of joy are enough to wake the neighbors.  We keep going until one of us gets worn down.  Changing diapers is a time to develop new games.  At least I don’t need to worry about getting squirted in the face.  Feeding her breakfast is a daily treat.  When she is in the mood she will settle down on my lap.  She will at times condescend to give hugs.  Every moment is cherished. 

The fears also return.  I remember when our children were young.  I remember how often I wondered if the latest expression of Original Sin meant that all was lost.  I remember wondering if I could return my son to the hospital and get a refund.  I remember when there were threats that I could do nothing about and the feeling of helplessness. 

I have the same concerns about my granddaughter.  She is a free spirit and always in motion.  I don’t think she will be a librarian, maybe a gardener.  Meanwhile I am getting older.  I am thankful that God has provided her with excellence in parenting, not to mention the fine grandparents.

And don’t forget the guardian angel on special assignment.

homo unius libri

Monday, December 30, 2019

Opus 2019-255: Double Fake

By now I am sure you have heard a Trump cameo appearance was removed from a film by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  My first reaction was to laugh at the pettiness of the left.  Then I read somewhere that the change was made in 2014.  The reason was to remove short sections of the film to allow more advertizing time and focused on parts that were not necessary for the plot.  Except for the delusions of grandeur that Home Alone 2 would have a plot that could be damaged, it made commercial sense in 2014.  In 2019 it would appear purely political, thus whoever reported it was giving us fake news.  It was fake because it implied a political motive that would fit today instead of a profit motive that applied then.  If the original reporter knew the dates then they were offering fake news even if they were conservative.

The double fake comes from the media’s response.  At one place I read conservatives are frothing at the mouth about it.  I am not sure what conservatives they are talking about.  Conservatives have a sense of humor.  Even Donald Trump responded in a light hearted way.  We also have a set of priorities that doesn’t let us fly off the handle every time the left gets childish.

So it was non-news being presented at significant.  Was it true?  The basic facts check out.  Was the intent to deceive?  Yes, thus it was fake.

We can do better than this people.

homo unius libri

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Opus 2019-254: Calling Trump

What was Donald Trump’s original name?  Did he change it? 

I ask this because he seems to be able to trump just about any hand that is thrown at him.  Some card games have a color that is called “trump”.  It can change depending on the rules and who gets to decide what it is.  Playing trump at the right time was a move that would take out supposedly stronger cards.  As an example, if someone plays the king of hearts and clubs is trump, a two of clubs will take the hand.

Donald Trump seems to have picked the name because he has that ability.  It is too much to just be coincidence. 

homo unius libri

Friday, December 27, 2019

Opus 2019-253: Trumping Kanye

I was recently killing some time at the local library.  I was looking through the magazines and noticed one that I used to read, National Review.  I can’t remember why I stopped but I did.  It has been years since I have opened a copy.  Since it is now in the ranks of Never Trumpers I don’t feel a real need to subscribe but I notice the cover featured an article about Kanye West.  I decided to read it.

It was a waste of time.  Since West seems to be getting along with Trump the hatred was transferred and there was nothing good to say about either of them.  The look-down-the-nose attitude was almost humorous.  The writer was trying to sound open minded and honest but he could not resist all the little digs.  What it boiled down to was Orange Man Bad so Kanye West Bad Too.  Or maybe it was Kanye West Orange, too.

It will be years before I bother looking at National Review again and since I don’t have many left it may never happen.

homo unius libri

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Opus 2019-252: The Mary Question

Sunday, as part of the celebration of Christmas, a couple of young girls sang a song called “Mary, Did You Know?”  The words go through various events in the life of Jesus and after each episode Mary is asked if she knew.  That was the part of the worship that the Lord decided to bring to mind as I left the service.

I got to thinking about how much Mary had been told.  She had an angel appear to her.  She had the statements of Elizabeth.  Joseph shared what he had been told.  She had a baby knowing she was a virgin.  Then you have the shepherds, wise men and angels all coming to pay tribute to this baby.  Go forward a few years and you have the trip to Jerusalem where Jesus stayed behind to teach the scholars in the temple.  With all that going on she seems to be a bit surprised about how it all turned out.  In Mark 3 you see how his friends thought He was crazy and his mother and brothers came to collect him.  How could Mary not know?

We see the same pattern with the disciples.  Jesus taught them for three years.  At the end of that time they still did not have a clue.

Humans have an awesome ability to hear what they want and ignore the rest.  We see this with our toddler granddaughter.  It is amazing how much she understands.  It is just as amazing how she can’t seem to comprehend the simplest words if it does not fit her plans for the next two minutes.  At the other end of the spectrum we see it in people who smoke cigarettes that come in packages labeled to inform them that the contents will kill them.  Then they sue the tobacco companies when they get sick.

God has this same problem with us.  I imagine that when judgement day comes there will be a heartbreaking number of people who will say, “I didn’t know.”  They may even believe it.  God will know different.  He will remember all the times they refused to listen.  For us believers He will remember all the times we refused to listen also but will also remember how we eventually came around and got back on track.

One of the great things about our major holidays is that they are times to reflect.  We celebrate.  We feast.  We frolic.  We also can use red letter days as days to stop and consider where we are going and how we are going to get there.  Thanksgiving is past.  Advent is in progress.  New Years is approaching.  God is speaking.  Are we listening?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Opus 2019-251: Yes, I Know

Merry Christmas.

Yes, I know that it is an arbitrary date.  The Bible gives no indication of the actual day of the Incarnation.

Yes, I know that the pagans celebrated the winter solstice around this time.

Yes, I know that there was no Christmas tree near the manger. 

Yes, I know that we don’t know the actual location of the stable in Bethlehem.

Yes, I know that there may have been more or less than three wise men.

Yes, I know that there is no indication that Mary rode a donkey.

I know.

It doesn’t matter.
(Gal 4:4 KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Jesus was born.  Picking December 25 is at most a 1/365 chance of being correct but I also know that the odds of getting into heaven without Jesus are much worse.

If you have a better day then pick it and I will be glad to encourage you.  The Orthodox churches have decided to celebrate in January.  More power to them.  If you like a summer celebration, go for it.

And Merry Christmas or whatever you choose to call it.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Opus 2019-250: Sign of the Times

I was reading a post about the midshipmen who gave the okay sign and were labeled as racist.  What got my attention was the one who said, “We didn’t know it was a racist sign.”  Or something to that effect.  The reason they didn’t know it was a racist sign was because it isn’t a racist sign.

Just because the social justice warriors say something is, does not mean it is.  In fact the truth is probably the opposite.  Social justice warriors have a prime goal of destroying Western culture in general and America specifically.  Anything they can do or say to make you back up and throw you off balance is a real plus. 

So feel free to signal okay with your circled fingers.  It is a time honored way of non-verbal communication.  The use as a game was a regular feature in the middle school that employed me and there were few white students on campus.  OK knows no boundaries.  If anyone has a problem then the proper response might be to close your hand and only extend one finger toward them.  I would not do it but it would certainly communicate something they need to understand.

“Racist sign”.  What a bunch of (explicative deleted), piled high and smelling strong.

homo unius libri

Friday, December 20, 2019

Opus 2019-249: Should-a-Beens: New Records

I think that Donald Trump is going to go into the record books.  He will be the first president impeached twice because we know what will happen as soon as this one is in the books.  Maybe they can start on the next one before this is done.  That is what they did before.  They started to impeach before he was inaugurated.

That is something he has in common with Obama.  Obama was awarded his peace prize before he did anything.  Trump was impeached before he did anything.  The difference is that Trump eventually did something and it is driving the Democrats wild:  Made America Great Again.

Come to think of it, if the Democrats get to work Trump could be the first president to be impeached three times.  How about four?

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-248: Headlines: Hypocrite Counties

I am reading many posts referencing the counties of Virginia declaring themselves Sanctuary Counties in regard to the Virginia State Legislature and governor making moves toward confiscating the guns of Virginians. 

I find it a bit hypocritical of conservatives who think this is a good idea after condemning cities for declaring themselves sanctuaries.  Where were they on election day?

I also am puzzled.  I read that 90% of the counties have declared themselves as refusing to cooperate.  Did I miss something?  My memory tells me that in the last election these same “patriots” voted a bunch of Democrats into control of the state.  Are they living in a state of cognitive dissonance?  Can they not connect the dots?  What happened to the rule of law.  They are trying to do the same things that the Progressives have been doing to destroy our republic.  You elected these fools.  Unelect them.  Have recalls.  Start to impeach.  Mimic Antifa.  You made your bed.  Either lie in it or change the sheets.

Sanctuary Counties indeed.  We need to decide whether we believe in the rule of law or not.  If we do then we need to apply the law in its fulness to those who try to do end runs.  That would mean the Progressives trying to invalidate the 2016 election, the liberals in Virginia trying to do an end run around the Second Amendment, and, yes, the counties that think they don’t have to enforce the laws that their elected leaders passed. 

If you look at statues of Justice you will notice that the balance has two sides and the sword is doubled edged.

homo unius libri

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Opus 2019-247: Headlines: Impeachment

My clock radio woke me this morning to the announcement that the House had voted to impeach the president.  My first thoughts were a combination of rage and despair.  Neither of these are based on fear that the country is doomed but an emotional response to a group of people who are so blind to the rule of law and honesty that they would do something like this.  A sports announcer used to claim, “No harm, no foul.”  The way the law is supposed to work is, “No crime, no trial.”  The Democrats have decided that simple things like due process and following the rules are only for the rubes, not for the elite.

As I looked over a few headlines I noticed that Pelosi is going to spit again on justice and possibly not send the impeachment to the Senate.  Then, in true projection form, they have the nerve to say they don’t trust the Senate to be fair.  If we ever move the portion of the homeless population that is insane back to mental institutions we need to send the Democrats in congress back with them.

We shall see how this will unfold. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Opus 2019-246: The Search for Non-Fake News

I keep searching for a substitute for what I used to get in a good newspaper or weekly news magazine.  The fact that I can’t find it makes me think there is still a place for the old form.

If you are like me you have a lot of sites bookmarked for news.  They act like they are newspapers but in reality most are just click centers.  You think you are onto something, you click to read more and either they take you to another site or they have a long quote and don’t tell you it is just a link unless you really look hard.  When I was still paying attention to the Drudge Report I learned to hold my cursor over the title and look in the corner of my screen to see the actual source.  I could screen out the Fake News sites that way but as time went on it got harder and harder to find something that did not come from the L.A. or N.Y. Times or Washington Post.

One thing I find amusing is that the Babylon Bee is getting cited like it is a serious newspaper.  When the title just does not make sense I get suspicious.  It is a sad day when you can’t tell the difference between satire and Fake News.  It is even sadder when the Fake News people can’t tell the difference.  And then you have the Babylon Bee headlines that eventually become prophetic.

Diogenes I am not but I would like to channel him.  Too bad I don’t believe in that.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Opus 2019-245: Should-a-Beens: The Perfect Leader

I don’t think I ever want to see a candidate that I trust totally.  If I ever reach that point, I will become a mindless Democrat.  Please excuse the redundancy.  I look at Donald Trump, and for the most part I like what he is doing.  I am not sure about everything such as his endorsing letting convicted criminals out early.  I am not sure about some of his appointments.  That is encouraging because if I could agree with everything I would wonder what was wrong with me.  I am not sure I even agree with myself all the time.

I mentioned “mindless Democrat”.  It is not the only redundancy possible.  There are a good number of them that are totally aware of what they are doing and what the consequences will be.  In some cases I guess for “mindless” I would need to substitute “immoral” or “evil”.  They might be very intelligent and talented.  Their joy is to spread diseased ideas through the culture.  Proverbs has several mentions of this kind of person such as,
(Pro 2:14 NAS77) Who delight in doing evil, And rejoice in the perversity of evil;
You wonder how someone like Adam Schiff can live with himself.  You wonder how Joe Biden can stand to be in the same room with Joe Biden.  How do the corrupt traitors who have been in charge of the intelligence agencies justify their lust for power?  How can they justify trying to destroy the liberty of millions for their own power and ego?  Simple.  They “delight in doing evil”.

Of course this does not only apply to Democrats.  The RINOs also answer to the call.  Remember that we would have decimated, if not done away with, Obamacare if it was not for John McCain.  And many of the never Trump people call themselves conservatives.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”  Some times we are forced to cross our fingers and move ahead but we should be as alert as possible. 

homo unius libri

Friday, December 13, 2019

Opus 2019-244: Nightmares

Do you ever have nightmares?  They hit me every once in awhile.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it is bad pizza.  My nightmares seem to have a common theme over the last few years.  I find myself back in the classroom.

There are certain things that present themselves in various scenarios.  I never have a role book.  I never have any way to know the students names.  Usually there are no doors and often no walls.  I can’t find my keys. 

There are times when the students keep changing.  In some the principal will come walking in and start making demands.  I have suddenly realized that I vomited all over my clothes and I have a clean set in the car but I can’t remember where the car is.  And then I can’t remember where my room is.  I remember one time when all of the usual were in place and outside the room with no walls the rest of the school was on lunch break or something.

Sometimes I come out of it when I remember that I am retired and so this doesn’t make sense.  Sometimes I just wake up.  One of the great things about these nightmares is that in real life it is over. 

Maybe this is payback for the way I laugh every time I drive by a school that is in session.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Opus 2019-243: R.O.E.

In regard to latest terrorist shooting at Pensacola, I pick up that the guards were not armed.  In fact, like all military bases within the United States, firearms are not allowed.  This is why we had the tragedy at Fort Hood and other shootings on bases that have highly trained warriors in residence.  I am not sure what the logic is except for misplaced political correctness that has reached the level of the absurd.  Maybe it is from misplaced fear of a military coup or some such nonsense.  This is a recurring problem in our military.  You can’t protect yourself from a guy with a gun if you only have a smile.  We see the same type of thinking in our schools.

It comes down to a problem with ROE or rules of engagement.  Soldiers, marines and airmen have carefully worded rules and parameters that determine when they can respond with force and how much force is allowed.  Police have the same restraints.  Notice I said “carefully worded” not “carefully thought out”.  They are not carefully thought out.  Usually they are political statements of convenience. 

When I was in Vietnam, we were not allowed to load our rifles on guard duty.  If we were caught with rounds in the gun the best we could expect was what was called an Article 15.  This is the lowest level of court marshal.  Understand, we were in a war zone.  We were on guard duty.  We were not allowed to load our weapons.  In fact our ROE started off with calling the command bunker if we were being attacked and ask for permission to load and fire a few rounds into the air.  I remember toward the end of basic training I was assigned guard duty at an all night laundromat that had a machine that vended candy and snacks.  My orders were to keep anyone from using the machine after 10:00 at night.  That is 22:00 for you military types.  Really?  Really.  I dealt with this threat to national security by walking around the corner any time someone approached the candy machine.

Or take Iraq.  We hear a lot about the surge and how that changed everything.  It certainly helped but even more important was a change in the ROE.  Our soldiers were suddenly allowed to defend themselves.

Pensacola was a tragedy that did not need to happen.  It was terrorism by invitation.  It is the result of the forces of the progressive, anti-gun culture.  It will happen again as long as our military bases continue to be gun free zones.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Opus 2019-242: Ode to Old: Shop for Life

I have never been a great shopper.  I can do a good job on groceries and necessities, but when it is birthday time my mind goes blank.  It look at shopping as a cruel form of torture.  I need to change my thinking.  Shopping is an affirmation of life.

I find myself saying things like, “I won’t need to buy any more sox.  I have enough to last me until I die.”  Same about hats.  I have more guitars than I can play and pens coming out of my ears.  Buying more is a waste of money. 

How limiting is that?  How defeatist.  How pessimistic. 

This is a good time to put it to the test.  It should possibly effect my Christmas shopping.  I am going to make it part of my pattern to walk through stores and ask myself, “Who do I know that could use this?”  I tried it once and found a great gift for my wife for Christmas.  She may return it but it is still a great gift.

I need to learn to make sure I know where receipts are because my perfect gift may very well be nothing but a dust magnet for the recipient.

But I am looking to the future in a different way.

homo unius libri

Monday, December 9, 2019

Opus 2019-241: Election 2020: Limit Some Terms

Term limits are a two edged sword.  We would not only get rid of the trash but would throw out the baby too.  Although it would see the back side of Pelosi and Schumer it would also say goodby to Nunez and Jordan.  It is something we need to talk about and to do so without calling names.  Of course, you can say that about a lot of topics.

Keep in mind that if we pass term limits the only ones who will follow the guidelines will be the traditional conservatives.  First we will see the progressives find ways to work around them.  Have you ever heard of someone running their spouse and serving through them?  How about if the governors of California and Illinois agreed to switch places.  Remember that creativity is part of the American psyche.  Also remember the progressives will throw them out when the time is right.  They seem to be able to do this by executive order is they can’t get the votes in congress and don’t forget all the judges that are bought and paid for.

We already have term limits anyway.  It is called an election.  I often wonder how people can keep electing someone like Nadler or Waters.  How can you vote for Pelosi when you walk the streets of San Francisco?  We have at least three possible answers:  Stupidity, on the dole and voter fraud.  We already have term limits on the president and people still reelected Clinton and Obama.

The consideration of term limits is part of the sickness of our society.  We want someone else to pull the weight so we can party on.  Instead of paying attention and holding elected leaders accountable we want a law to take care of it for us.  People want the congressman who brings home the bacon to their district.  It is the other guys who need to be thrown out.  Or take the parent who wants the schools to raise their children because they want to be buddies instead of mothers and fathers.  Republicans like to protest things like voter fraud but when are they going to do something about it?  They enjoy the fruits to much to chop down the tree.

When someone else does the heavy lifting we can claim innocense and join the condemnation of those evil people.  Thus we have people who enjoy the benefits of our liberty and security but want to attack the soldiers who stand as a bulwark.  We complain about people using EBT cards at fast food joints and expect the government to keep raising the benefits of Medicare. 

Each of us needs to accept the burden of limiting terms.  We need to get serious about watching the people in positions of power.  We need to write down their failures if our memory will not cooperate.  And then we need to get busy using the liberties we still have.

2020 is coming.  Vote the suckers out.  If enough people vote then their cheating won’t work.

homo unius libri

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Opus 2019-240: Baby Talk: Determining the Nature of the Falling Nut

Children are born.  Adults are made.

It may be that some children automatically become readers.  That has not been the case with our granddaughter.  Of course she is still a toddler but personalities develop early.  She would rather run around the couch than sit with a book.

My daughter is working on that and is planting the seeds.  She lets the toddler run but there are times when she restrains the baby until she calms down enough to look at the book being read.  It isn’t easy.  It takes time.  It reflects a commitment to a goal.  In time the habit is established and we see an increase in times when the child will pick up a book and look through it.  Will she become a reader?  I don’t know.  Some people just don’t like to read.  They would rather go out and turn a tree into a cabinet than read a book about trees.  Still, the seeds need to be planted to keep the options open.

Why do children turn out the way they do?  We often talk of heredity and environment.  What the modern culture ignores is free will, choices.  It goes beyond the choices of the child.  Parents make choices in how they spend their time.  Often the key question is, excuse the word, selfish or sacrifice.  It is much easier to plop the kid in front of an electronic device so you can do your nails than to engage them and help them to grow.

Even the best, progressive day care cannot make up for the attention of a mother.  We always laugh when some official child education organization publishes something as a great tool of learning and it is something that mothers have been doing for centuries.  Grandmothers could have written the books but they don’t have Ph.D. behind their name or government funding.

I realize it is easy to judge and my point is not to condemn single parents who are doing the best they can but they need to realize that when they have a choice it will have consequences.  We were surrounded by mothers and fathers making those kinds of sacrifices and the results we see are gratifying. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Opus 2019-239: Pandora’s Hit List

My daughter has the Pandora ap working in the living room.  It is on a Christmas channel and I am hearing songs I had never heard before.  After listening once I can see why.  The great voice of Bing Crosby recorded a lot more than White Christmas.  The blessing is that most of the songs died a natural death. 

As I was feeding the toddler and listening to the music my mind went on a tangent.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a conversation in which one side consists of empty shrieks and nonsense syllables.  I have had conversation with progressives and survived without violence.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy making faces and acting excited when she gets the spoon in her mouth without dumping the oatmeal in her lap.  There are situations though that make it possible for even this male mind to multi-task.

I was giving 3/4 of my mind to listening to the words and I realized that the non-hits of Bing Crosby have a lot in common with the majority of modern secular Christmas music.  One thing I noticed is that you could take the word Christmas that is inserted on some kind of ratio and replace it with another word, say Tuesday, and the song would have just as much meaning and staying power as it does as a Christmas song.  I recently enjoyed an old post by the Babylon Bee that has the exchange going the opposite way as Justin Bieber replaces “baby” with “Jesus”.

Most modern Christmas songs reject any possible reference to the real catalyst for Christmas and become expressions of a desire to express themselves sexually.  In modern productions you hear about the breaking of a heart instead of the breaking of the power of sin.  The result desired is a one night stand as opposed to the eternal relationship promised by Christmas. 

I am a supporter of free enterprise so I have no problem with everyone who has every recorded a song producing a Christmas album filled with gruel.  I do have a problem with it being the only stuff that seems to be broadcast any more.  I like White Christmas and Jinglebell Rock but they are simply enjoyable, not meaningful.  They do not change the world and did not establish the season.

Merry Christmas and long live redeeming Christmas music.

homo unius libri

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Opus 2019-238: Baby Talk: Conversations

It is great having my daughter and granddaughter staying with us.  There are down sides though.  One of those is the topics of conversation.

I just finished a discussion of baby turds.  It was like a mystery of who-done-it.  We were trying to figure out why the consistency of the feces was different this morning.  Was it the diet?  Was it teething?  Is she sick?  Has she been watching CNN?

At the time these topics are of interest.  I am not sure that I would want a chapter in my biography to spend much time on them.  We have discussed why car seats are hard to adjust.  Why do babies like to run around naked?  How long were the naps for the last week?  Why does she pick their nose, on both sides at once? 

In those times when there is little to discuss there is always time to chase a toddler around the house and wonder where they get their energy.

Where will I get my energy?

homo unius libri